A pastor defied a deputy's orders Monday, wading out to retrieve a casket floating away in historically high floodwaters in Ridgeville, South Carolina.

Wayne H. Reeves watched for hours as a casket began floating away from the cemetery of New Canaan Methodist Church, according to reports.

That's a sister church of New Life Ministries, a nondenominational church in nearby Summerville, where Reeves is the pastor.

Tired of waiting for anyone else to do something — and with the family of the deceased grieving along with him — Reeves donned wading boots, walked out into the brown, waist-deep water and began pushing the casket back to dry land.

A Dorchester County sheriff's deputy told him not to do it, because it was too dangerous and that the water was possibly contaminated.

"That's not who we are," Reeves said. "This is America, and we're not like that."

UPDATE: Pastor Reeves spoke Wednesday morning to Steve Doocy and Elisabeth Hasselbeck to recount the harrowing events.

He said he didn't feel that the conditions were too dangerous, explaining that if he didn't act, the casket may have been floating there for several more days.

Reeves said officials were not going to retrieve the casket until the waters receded and in some areas, that may not happen until Saturday. 

Watch the local report below.

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